Meridian Bioscience, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio (NASDAQ: VIVO) today provided the financial community with guidance regarding the Company’s fiscal 2014 sales and earnings estimates. Based on the Company’s business planning and budgeting activities for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2014, management expects net sales to be in the range of $203 to $208 million and per share diluted earnings to be between $0.98 and $1.03. The per share estimates assume an increase in average diluted shares outstanding from approximately 41.9 million at fiscal 2013 year end to 42.3 million at fiscal 2014 year end. Net earnings are expected to increase between approximately 10% and 15% from fiscal 2013 to fiscal 2014. The sales and earnings guidance provided in this press release is from expected internal growth and does not include the impact of any acquisitions the Company might complete during fiscal 2014.
Management reaffirms fiscal 2013 guidance of per share diluted earnings of between $0.86 - $0.91 on net sales of $190 million to $195 million, with current revenue expectations being near the low end of the range.
John A. Kraeutler, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “During fiscal 2013, Meridian’s diagnostic business continued to expand its illumigene ® molecular menu and its user base while increasing revenues in the focus areas of foodborne and H. pylori testing. Our Life Science unit likewise added innovative new products while extending its global reach. Additionally, operating efficiency has continued to improve margins. Our outlook is for solid growth in fiscal 2014, as we expect to increase organic revenues approximately 7% to 10%, with earnings growing approximately 10% to 15%, demonstrating continued operating efficiency. As is the case in fiscal 2013, the primary drivers of our growth will continue to be our illumigene molecular system along with our tests for E. coli, Campylobacter and H. pylori from our diagnostics business. Meridian Life Science is expected to derive its growth from sales of its unique molecular components, such as MyTaq™ and SensiFAST™, plus an expanding position in our industrial customer base in global markets, especially in China.
With regard to R&D investments, in fiscal 2014 we will continue to build upon our well-accepted simple–to-use molecular platform, illumigene, with our tests for Pertussis and Chlamydia/Gonorrhea anticipated to be launched in the first half of the fiscal year and the second half of the fiscal year, respectively. Our next tests in the pipeline are expected to be Herpes Simplex I & II, tests for enteric parasites such as Giardia, foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, and bloodborne pathogens such as malaria. Finally, we will continue to invest incrementally to add more automated manufacturing capabilities and to expand our sales and marketing teams around the world. As always, our goal is to build upon strong organic growth while delivering maximum shareholder value through higher earnings and cash dividends.”William J. Motto, Executive Chairman, commented, “Fiscal 2013 has been a year of solid progress and fiscal 2014 promises further growth in revenues, cash flow, and earnings. We will introduce new products, carefully control expenses, maintain a strong unleveraged balance sheet, and continue to look for attractive acquisition opportunities. Based on our highly positive outlook, management intends to recommend to the Board of Directors an increase in our indicated annual cash dividend at the next regular board meeting. If approved, this will mark our 20th increase in the annual rate since we began paying cash dividends in 1991.”
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